D Day. We’re off. Moving to Spain as a family

We’re finally moving to Spain as a family. D Day is here. “Why are you so stressed, we’re only moving!” my husband said to me after I had another meltdown in the past few days. I know, right? He wasn’t even joking! Well, he must be the exception to the rule, because I do feel like all those people stating that moving house is in the top three of most stressful things in life.

Packing, cleaning and a broken elbow

Moving house as a family with lots of stuff and two pets, that is, if it had been just me I’d been fine. The packing for the removal lorry was one thing, it was all the stuff that was left to do afterwards that made it feel never ending. Cleaning up and sorting out. Loads of admin. Finishing at work. Getting our cats prepped for the cattery and planned pet transport journey. An X ray to see if my youngest’s broken elbow is healing ok (it’s ok!).

Moving to Spain blogs


moving to spain as a family means Adios leaving parties

Then of course there are the many leaving drinks, meals and parties to attend and host. Even though my tired body told me it really rather wanted to go to bed, it was lovely to be able to catch up and say goodbye to our Scottish friends, neighbours, band members and colleagues. After moving to Spain as a family I would be able to have plenty of siësta’s, wouldn’t I? No rest for the wicked. Hell yes, throw in a 4th birthday party for my little one as well while we’re at it, one day before departure! Crazy.

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ready for a new adventure

Leaving our home and the local area on D Day was pretty emotional, even though I often cursed the place longing to be somewhere more exciting, feeling cut off and stuck in a far grey, chilly corner of the Great British island. Still, I am grateful, as I believe all things happen for a reason and so I spent over twelve years of my life in the North east of Scotland, always feeling the colourful Dutch outsider but adapting and making it my home. The truth is, no matter where you go, if you open your eyes you will find what matters to you. In some places you just have to try a little bit harder. Up there I found like-minded creatives, found a great band to sing in, started my business and started a family. Aberdeenshire is beautiful and full of hidden gems.

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goodbye beautiful Scotland, thank you for having me

The train journey from Inverurie to Aberdeen was like a trip down memory lane…passing familiar scenery, a previous work place, my husband’s city flat where I started a life in Scotland many moons ago. Goodbye Aberdeen! Thank you for having me and making me work hard, push myself, mature and become resilient.

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Looking forward to a brand new life

The night before we left also happened to be the night when labour kicked off for the planned home birth of my second baby boy, exactly four years ago. It was a strange feeling to be sitting on the floor in our empty living room, the same spot as where my youngest was born after a lot of drama and life threatening complications (he was a big 10lb baby and got stuck with his shoulder – BBC’s Call the Midwife anyone?).

Four years later we are sitting here again, excited and slightly nervously awaiting another brand new life. I always dreamed of this moment, moving to a sunny climate, moving to Spain as a family. Let’s hope this birth will be a smoother one!

Urban cool on Easter Sunday in Aberdeen: street art and vintage

There are a zillion things to do when  you’re looking for Easter themed activities around here. Egg hunting at every castle estate around the Shire is one of them! If you fancy something a bit different this year – or you’re just not that much into chocolate (is there such a thing?) – here’s a suggestion for an alternative itinerary for a pleasant Easter Sunday in Aberdeen. Once you have polished off plenty of hot cross buns at your Easter brunch, put on your comfy shoes and head into town.

NUART Aberdeen 

The team behind Stavanger’s street art festival NUART has come to Aberdeen this Spring and is adding some much needed colour and art to the granite city. Eleven international artists have worked hard over the past week to create their works of street art and the results look impressive. The drab looking exterior of Aberdeen’s indoor market has been improved greatly with a huge, gorgeous drawing. Numerous other grey walls, old doors and forgotten corners of the city have also been used as canvases by the artists.

Street art in progress by Martin Whatson
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Street art by Alice Pasquini

The festival starts on the 12th of April and continues until Easter Sunday with lots of events including talks, film screenings and creative workshops. On Saturday there is the UK premiere of Saving Banksy at the Belmont cinema. For this Sunday however – and to keep in with the Easter spirit – I recommend the Easter Sunday Street Art Hunt: find six hidden artworks around the city centre by following the hints provided (pick up a paper sheet from Cafe 52 on the Green). You win an Easter Prize if you capture the art on camera and return to Cafe 52 to show it.

If you’ve got kids with you, you could start off early and also take part in Chalk Don’t Chalk, to create your own chalk street art pieces, with professional artists on hand to teach and guide children on their designs (at 11am on the roof garden of St Nicholas shopping centre). For the full programme of events and other info please visit www.nuartaberdeen.co.uk.

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Old Togs New Tricks Vintage Fayre

Then, of course, it wouldn’t be Nina’s Apartment if there wasn’t a bit of vintage thrown into the mix. My favourite local vintage fair is back this spring at Underdog, with lots of quality traders bringing their gorgeous unique wares to this quirky little venue. Whether it is an original floaty seventies dress you want for your summer wardrobe or a sleek mid century design collectable to add to your home, there is plenty to see and buy and rummage through.

Traders include The Closet, Peapod, Vi Vinyl, Louis Little Haven, Very Vintage, RetroriginalUK, The Vintage Collection, Black Cat Vintage, Heather D, Re-Store, Quinneys Antique Jewellery & Marcia Wilkes MUA – Glitter Bar.

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Vintage clothes by The Closet
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Cool retro kitchenalia and glassware by Very Vintage

Being held in a nightclub with low lighting and an industrial interior gives it a great vibe and makes it stand out from any other vintage fair you’ve ever been too. Oh, and there’s a bar, perfect to finish off your Sunday with a tasty craft beer or two, which you’ll definitely deserve after all that walking. Happy Easter!

Old Togs New Tricks Fayre. Underdog, 1 Union Street, Aberdeen. Sunday 16 April, 12-5pm. Entry free

 

Nina’s Apartment…a local vintage shop with European flair

 
If you are on the hunt for a beautiful piece of vintage furniture, a statement mirror or just a splash of colour and uniqueness for your home, you’ve come to the right place. Meet Nina’s Apartment, a vintage shop in Lethenty Mill, just outside Inverurie, Aberdeenshire.

Nina’s Apartment is run and owned by Dutch vintage enthusiast Nina Eggens, who came to live in Scotland eight years ago and was missing the choice in home interior shops she was used to on the continent. After working for different North East arts organisations and becoming a mother she opted for a career change and opened her own shop in 2012. As she puts it, Nina’s Apartment offers people “colour, quality, quirkiness and European flair.” Above all, everything in Nina’s shop is carefully selected and curated, creating an inspiring shopping environment.

“I have always been a collector of vintage and design and am forever reading interior design magazines and pinning myself silly on Pinterest”, Nina says. “I dreamt about opening a shop for years and after having my baby boy 18 months ago I decided it was now or never.”
“I started selling only online and at fairs at first, but soon my house was full of furniture and boxes of china and it was time I found my own premises. My husband was delighted he got his garage back and since opening the shop in October I have been truly overwhelmed by the positive response from customers.”

In the shop you’ll find an ever-changing selection of vintage chairs, recovered foot -stools, painted chests of drawers, mirrors, upcycled lampshades, well-traveled trunks, retro dinnerware and blankets. Sleek mid-century sideboards, tactile Danish ceramics and graphic patterns show Nina’s love for the Scandinavian style, which also shines through in the cushions she designs and makes herself. 


“I love the clean lines and simplicity of Scandinavian design. It never bores and goes with so many different interior styles. I always get very excited when I come across gorgeous items on my travels. Last year I discovered a set of forgotten Hans Wegner wishbone chairs in the back of someone’s shed. Needless to say they sold pretty quickly. ”

One of the strong points of Nina’s Apartment is the mix and styling of products in the shop. This is no coincidence as Nina tries to bring a message across. “Vintage is a very trendy word at the moment, but I want to offer people something that works well in their own, modern interiors in the long term, whether you call it ‘vintage’, eclectic or timeless – as long as it is beautiful and made with care. I want to show them it’s easy and fun to mix and match old and new furniture and accessories in order to create a home with soul and personality, rather than to buy lots of mass-produced items in the same matching colours from the same shop. After all, your home is yours and shouldn’t look like everyone else’s.”

Nina’s Apartment is currently open on Saturdays between 10am and 2pm and by appointment on other days. She also sells at local vintage fairs.
www.ninasapartment.com
Nina’s Apartment can also be found on Facebook and Twitter

Published in Made in Scotland magazine

When Cottage met Apartment: a cocktail of country chic and urban flair.

Nina’s Apartment is now open every Saturday from 10am – 2pm, thanks to the help from the ladies of Willow Cottage, a fellow local business with a shared love for vintage and upcycled furniture. Lisa and Debra from Willow Cottage are big Annie Sloan chalk paint fans and are regularly bringing beautifully upcycled pieces of furniture in – from cute little chairs to full-size kitchen dressers. I am delighted to have their items in my shop, adding that bit of classic ‘Country Living‘ flair to my more continental, eclectic, colourful ‘Elle Decoration‘ style! Come and see for yourself, we’ll be happy to help you find something you love.

 

A great day for a Vintage Fair in Aberdeenshire. Photo report

On Saturday 2nd of February I held the first vintage fair in and around my shop at Lethenty Mill, and the first of its kind in the Inverurie area. Still snowing in the morning I feared people would maybe rather stay warm indoors…but it was packed! It was a wonderful event, thanks to the help of my fellow traders, and thanks to the support of all you lovely customers who came to visit – from as far as Elgin, Fraserburgh and Aberdeen – getting inspired, drinking hot cups of tea or purchasing one or more items. It is very encouraging to receive so much positive feedback and to see people enjoy the things that I’ve created. Here’s to many more successful events in the future!

Nina’s Apartment will now be open every Saturday from 10am to 2pm and by appointment.

What inspired me this week: rich colours, natural wood and artwork in your interior

As always I browse Pinterest for ideas and inspiration. Here are a few of the images I have pinned onto my Interior Inspiration board this week. I love the deep colours combined with natural wood in some of the rooms. I also included images of some artworks that made me smile. And of course I couldn’t resist including some colourful cushions… In these cold winter months I believe we need to surround ourselves with happy colours and the things we love. Stay warm! Enjoy!

(Images: http://www.roseandgrey.co.uk, http://noperfectdayforbananafish.tumblr.com/page/5, http://www.cavetocanvas.com, http://www.houzz.com)

Free fabric scrap wreath tutorial

First of all, thank you for your support this year! For reading this blog, liking and following me on Facebook and Twitter and of course, for your purchases of my vintage homeware and giving me commissions. It’s been an amazing year and I am looking forward creating beautiful things again in the next.

Here’s a little something for you to get stuck into during the holidays: a fabric scrap wreath. I made lots and sold them at fairs. Everyone loved them! They are easy to make and are very decorative.

You’ll need:
1. wire wreath frame
2. about 1/2 meter of fabric

How:
1. Cut/rip the fabric into long strips of 2cm wide.
2. Cut the strips into small strips of about 10cm long.
3. Tie each strip around the wire frame and keep doing this until you can’t see any wire anymore. The fuller, the better!

Enjoy your holidays, see you in the New Year!

Nina x

My vintage furniture shop in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire….is open!

The proud shop owner!
The ‘al-fresco’ bar
Moustache mirror made by Dee-licious Finds, beautifully modeled by Chris

A courtyard full of vintage (and two wee boys)

Nina singing and hubby Glenn playing air guitar with the bbq fork

Upcycled telephone bench

The Malpaso Gang playing in the woodworking shed!